This week’s author of our blog is Director of Elementary and Middle School, Sarah Young.
Experiential learning is a hallmark of a Montessori education. At ASM, we provide our students with the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom walls through on- and off-campus field trips.
Recently, our Middle School students embarked on an exhilarating overnight trip to The Leadership School at Kieve in Maine where they were immersed in a variety of thrilling and thought-provoking activities. To solidify their commitment to one another and the experience, the students collaboratively created a cabin contract, outlining their shared values and intentions for a positive and inclusive environment. Meals were a time for the students to come together, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie. Students took responsibility for the upkeep of the property, learning the importance of environmental stewardship, and contributed to the communal atmosphere by arranging place settings for meals. As dusk settled, the students gathered around a crackling fire, making s’mores and engaging in meaningful conversations.
The real adventure at The Leadership School began with rock climbing, where the students faced their fears and developed resilience and determination. Students also engaged in challenging ropes courses, fostering teamwork and trust among their peers. Commands were essential to use during the rock climbing and ropes course experiences as they highlight the importance of effective communication. The excitement continued as students embarked on a canoeing expedition, honing their communication and leadership skills while working together to navigate the waters to an island in which we all sat together for lunch.
In addition to the physical activities, the students actively engaged in social-emotional activities that focused on team building and responsibility. They participated in interactive sessions that explored communication techniques and strategies for becoming effective leaders. Following each activity, students had reflective discussions on peer relationships and the importance of cooperative learning, emphasizing the values of empathy, respect, and inclusivity. This was a transformative experience that combined adventure, personal growth, and valuable life skills; an experience our students will always remember!
The opportunity that the Leadership School field trip offered accurately reflects the way in which Montessori education serves as an extension of the classroom. This experience supported the Middle School students in fostering a sense of independence, curiosity, and respect for the interconnectedness of the world, nurturing the Montessori values of self-directed learning and global citizenship.